Press Enterprise: His family and friends waited for his name to be called.
They waited three hours through the first round of the NBA draft Wednesday night, and then they waited two hours more. In the end, it went the way the draft gurus suggested it would, not the way Mom dreamed it would.
"He's going soon, going soon, top 20," said Latanya Green, mother of Riverside native Marcus Slaughter, often talking to the television in her home, where three dozen well-wishers gathered in hopes of celebrating Slaughter's welcome to the NBA.
It will have to wait. After nearly five hours and 60 picks, the former San Diego State forward went undrafted and will have to take another route to the league.
In 1995, Green said, a friend with a vision told her one of her four sons would be an NBA player.
"We all thought it would be Jemall," she said of her second son, who led Fontana High School to a CIF title before being shot and killed a year later in 1996 in a dispute by the father of his girlfriend.
"It turned out she was talking about Marcus," said Green, who had outfitted some of her guests with T-shirts depicting Jemall's image on the back and Marcus' on the front.
Slaughter, who left San Diego State this spring after his junior year, watched the draft from his apartment in Santa Monica with a smaller group of family and friends.
While Slaughter stayed cool and calm -- "Just another day," he deadpanned by phone -- family got nervous for him.
"He's always cool, that's just Marcus," said older brother Reggie Slaughter, helping to host his mother's party.
Said Green: "I'm usually calm, like Marcus, but this is different. Tonight is for him. I wanted this for him."
Despite his being bypassed in the two rounds of the draft, no one in his circle believes Slaughter's NBA dream has been extinguished. He could sign a free-agent contract, or at least command an invitation to a preseason camp.
"Enough people know he's got an NBA game," said Mitchell Butler, who handles Slaughter for agent Dan [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.], earlier in the day. "If he doesn't go (in the draft), we'll take a day or two and see what offers work best for him."
LaTanya Green, mother of Marcus Slaughter, reacts after her son's name doesn't get called in the two rounds of Wednesday's NBA draft.
Lakers must really like him. They had him in for two workouts (one 2 days before the draft).
averaged 11 rebounds a game
at 6-8 220, he had a great build for a tough SF and the athleticism to accompany it.
I sure wouldn't mind if we got him on our D-League team. Keep him there for a year, see what happens. Could be a nice asset off the bench when he develops a bit more.